Taraji P. Henson returned to host “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays” last night on FOX. The Christmas-themed musical variety special featured funny skits, costume changes, string ensembles, choirs and more. A star-studded cast of musical guest stars joined “Empire’s” reigning queen to deliver some holiday magic including her on-screen son Jussie Smollett, Ciara, Fergie, Salt N Pepa, Leslie Odom, Jr., Chaka Khan, Faith Evans and more. We’ve ranked our Top 5 best musical moments from “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays” below.
5. Chaka Khan – “The Christmas Song”
Nothing gets us in the Christmas spirit more than this musical ‘ode to the sights, sounds and smells of the Yuletide season. “Empire” recurring cast member and award-winning actor Taye Diggs introduced Chaka Khan as a living legend and he’s right. The 10-time Grammy winner has enjoyed a career spanning more than five decades. Her take on the beloved holiday song which was made famous by Nat King Cole and The King Cole Trio was simply exquisite.
4. Ensemble Led by Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Prancerton”
This musical Christmas spoof on the Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton” was hilarious. Prancer (played by Henson) was in a riff with Rudolph (played by Tituss Burgess). Their rap-infused power play proved to be one of many laugh-out-loud moments in the hour. Putting this kind of spin on the classic Broadway-winning play was also a stroke of creative genius.
3. Jussie Smollett and Fergie – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Medley
Jussie Smollett’s silky-smooth vocals are always a standout, bright moment in the dark and dramatic “Empire” landscape. His sparkling duet with Fergie on a “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” medley really showcased just how beautiful his voice really is. The duo complemented each other brilliantly and it was also fun to watch them dance in a retro, Gene Kelly sort of style.
2. Leslie Odom, Jr. and Faith Evans – “Mary Did You Know?”
This contemporary Christmas song speaks to the religious significance of the holiday and tells the nativity story in a moving and haunting way. Leslie Odom, Jr. and Faith Evans sounded spectacular together and their performance was easily a standout moment of the night.
1. Ensemble – “Someday at Christmas”
Taraji closed out the night with an inspirational message about finding the “hope” in the holiday season and dreaming about one day living in the kind of world we all want the world to be. The entire ensemble cast singing R&B legend Stevie Wonder’s iconic and inspirational holiday anthem was the perfect way to end a funny, poignant and uplifting evening.
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